12 September 2012, Sweetcrude, HOUSTON – US ambassador to Libya was killed following a raid on the Benghazi consulate by an armed mob on Tuesday.
Three other embassy staff at the consultate in the eastern part of the oil-producing nation have also died following the violent clashes on Tuesday evening.
The US State Department confirmed that one of its officers was killed but has not identified the dead.
However, in a later statement, US President Barack Obama confirmed that the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
In a statement issued by the White House, Obama said: “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“I have directed my administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”
The State Department website shows that Californian Christopher Stevens was appointed to the post in May following two previous stints in Libya. He has also served in various roles for the Department in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.
An armed mob is said to have set upon the consulate on Tuesday, chasing off armed guards following an exchange of fire.
They are said to have been angered by a film called “The Innocence of Muslims” being streamed on the internet which allegedly depicts the Prophet Mohammed.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the attack: “I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi (on Tuesday).
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
Benghazi is one of the centres of Libya’s rich oil industry and was the cradle of the country’s Arab Spring revolution which began in February last year and ended with the overthrowing and killing of long-term national leader Muammar Gaddafi.